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happy overnight hosting a handy survival guide for coping with out-of-town guests | 1 2 3
continued from page 1

2 Provide basic orientation.
Keep a local map handy, and make sure your guests know exactly where your house is located. Show them where to find the nearest bus station, subway station, train station, whatever – if you make it easy for them to get around, they’ll likely be eager to do some exploring all on their own, thus easing the burden on you to act as constant personal escort.

3 Give them a bed to sleep on.
In an ideal world, we’d all have separate guest bedrooms set aside in our abodes, allowing our guests (and ourselves) some modicum of privacy during their visits. The reality for most of us is probably closer to this: guests get to crash in the living room. Since it’s the rare sofa indeed that provides any guest with a good night’s sleep (and you don’t want your visitors all cranky because they’ve just spent an evening tossing and turning on your lumpy little loveseat), it’s a good idea to invest in a sofabed or a futon.

4 Make sure you’ve got an extra set of clean towels and bed linens, as well as spare pillows and blankets.
And yes, I do mean clean, and preferably reserved expressly for guests. Buy a sheet set or two, a couple of bath towels and face towels and DO NOT give in to the temptation to use them when you’re too lazy to do your laundry … the more use they get, the more likely they are to fade, get nubby, in short, look less than pristine.

5 Urge them to make themselves feel at home.
I always make sure to tell my guests to help themselves to food and drinks, and to feel free to listen to any of my CDs or watch TV, if they find they’re sitting around the house and I’m either working or otherwise unable to properly entertain. I’m a big believer in giving guests time to entertain themselves – either by going out to sightsee for a day by themselves, or just relaxing at my house for an afternoon, reading a book, flipping through magazines, or indulging in naps. Which brings me to point number 6 …

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